With a live DJ and ice-cold matcha tea, organizers hyped up voters — both new and old — at Desert Breeze Community Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tuesday afternoon.
The event, put on by One APIA Nevada and Asian Community Development Council (ACDC), nonpartisan sister organizations that support Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Nevada, was meant to drive Asian and Pacific Islander voters in the area to the polls, the groups said.
“The traditional narrative is that Asians always have voting apathy,” said Eric Jeng, the director of outreach for ACDC, who at 33-years-old said he is the oldest organizer with the group.
“We want to break that cycle of apathy,” Jeng told CNN.
ACDC aims to educate and mobilize voters in an area where the Asian American and Pacific Islander community is growing.
Ahead of Tuesday’s primary elections, ACDC translated non-partisan voter guides into five languages: Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Thai.
Ashley Hermosura, a 33-year-old Democratic voter, told CNN she knew to vote Tuesday because she had been following One APIA on social media.
In addition to posting on social media for weeks, the group had been knocking on doors and sending text messages, encouraging members of the community to vote.
“The Republican party has a lot of traction,” Hermosura said, explaining that she showed up to vote for Democratic candidates who are backed by unions and education council members.
Hermosura said she believes in “getting the Asian vote out in elections and showing up as a politically activated audience in elections.”
Catherine Lee, who is 18 years old and voted in Nevada’s primary election, described the experience of voting for the first time as “cool.”
Lee, who voted at another event sponsored by the groups last Friday, said she was most excited about voting in the district attorney race.
“They shape outcomes important for fighting racial discrimination in the criminal justice system,” Lee said, describing why she found that race interesting.